Welkins Boreal – Interview

Welkins Boreal – Interview

Interview with Pete Devine of Pete’s Rock News and Views (

PD: What type of artist are you?

WB: Welkins Boreal is an ‘old new’ band. It was established in late 2018 but since it is direct continuation to Nattvindens Gråt, which was established in 1994, it is actually quite an old band already! Currently the band comprises two fulltime members, Aki Koponen and myself (Teemu Kautonen), and a session drummer. Our music could be characterised as classic metal with gothic, progressive and rock influences. Something like the product of a studio session where Lemmy Kilmister got drunk with Tobias Forge and David Gilmour.


PD: Tell us the brief history of yourself.

WB: Egoistically, I interpret ‘yourself’ as referring to my humble person rather than the band that I already described above. I have been playing in metal bands since the late 1980s. The most well-known one is surely Darkwoods My Betrothed, which was one of the pioneering black/epic metal acts in the mid 1990s. My other bands include the aforementioned Nattvindens Gråt, Furthest Shore and Wizzard. Altogether I have written music for 11 albums, two Eps and a bunch of demo tapes. For career and family reasons I had a long break from music 2001-2018 but now I’m back with a vengeance!


PD: Who are your musical and non-musical influences?

WB: Musically I am almost completely stuck in the 1980s with some 1990s influences. Artists that have particularly influenced my songwriting include Bathory, Candlemass, Queensryche, King Diamond, Manowar and to some extent also Tiamat and Katatonia. For lyrics, I sometimes draw inspiration from history, as I am a big history buff, but I also follow contemporary society and write on such matters. Generally, I do not read much fiction but more factual books. Well, the last two books I finished were Dio’s biography and ‘The Dirt’ by Motley Crüe, which were interesting albeit not exactly intellectual exercises.


PD: What are your dreams and goals?

WB: To stay healthy and fit for a few more years so that I can keep on rocking! Playing live on a properly organised tour would be nice too. Haven’t played live for the last 20 years I reckon.


PD: Who writes your songs, what are they about?

WB: So far this has been solely my domain but Aki – who joined the band only in January 2020 – will contribute to future material. His musical influences are pretty similar to mine, with the notable exception that he is also into punk rock, which will add some flair to the future compositions. Two of the lyrics on the new EP ‘Ashes’ (release date: 11 September 2020) deal with unpleasant developments in modern society, hopefully in an intelligent and engaging way. The third lyric is based on the Battle of Cajamarca and how it represented a turning point in global macro history.


PD: How do you promote your band and shows?

WB: Primarily with the help of kind people and music lovers such as your good self! So answering interviews for magazines and webzines, some advertising and some social media. We run the band as a hobby and do not earn any money with it, so our promotion budget is somewhat limited as well. Luckily, we were able to hire an effective promoter in Markus Eck of Metal Message who has done a great job for the band so far!


PD: What do you think about downloading music online?

WB: It’s a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it democratises music in that any band can have their music distributed globally with practically no cost at all. On the other hand, it makes it difficult to run bands as a fulltime profession. The royalties paid by the streaming services are so tiny that only the biggest bands can earn any money from them and even they have to play more live shows to earn their living than they used to in the good old times when physical albums were the main medium. For fans too, I’d say it’s a double-edged sword. On the one hand, you have access to all the music of the world with a mouse click and a modest monthly fee. But for many music has become a commodity, something you listen to in the background but don’t really focus on in the way you used to when you put a vinyl on the turntable or a CD into the CD player. Also it’s very difficult to navigate the insane number of bands that are available in the likes of Spotify. Then you give up and just put on the bands you are already familiar with. I for one used to be more experimental when browsing through physical CDs in a record store back in the day.


PD: What song do you wish you’d written and why?

WB: ‘Queen of the Reich’ because it’s the best song ever written!


PD: What are some of your pet peeves?

WB: Stupid people who are driven by misguided ideology, think they are better than everyone else and cannot engage in critical discussions.


PD: What is your proudest moment in music?

WB: Every time an album is released is a proud moment, so perhaps the very first time that happened to me with Darkwoods My Betrothed’s ‘Heirs of the Northstar’ must be that moment.


PD: So what are you working on at the moment?

WB: Believe it or not but I am writing new songs for the upcoming comeback album of Darkwoods My Betrothed! For the first time since I left the band in 1996 (and the band became inactive in about 1999). Now the original line-up is back and we are super excited to be working on new material. We’ve been discussing it for so many years, often over (too many) beers, so it’s fabulous that things are finally moving ahead!


PD: What music have you available online and where can we buy it from? 

WB: We have released one full-length album ‘Phantoms of Yesteryear’ (2019) and the new EP ‘Ashes’ is coming out 11 September 2020. All of our music is available in virtually all streaming services. You can also stream it or download it for free as lossless WAV files from our website ( or Bandcamp ( The album and EP are also available as CDs, which you can order from our website, the Inverse Records web shop and the Finnish online record store Levykauppa Äx. Both Inverse and Äx ship worldwide. If you are ordering other music too, I recommend using either of those shops as you can save on shipping compared to me hopping to the post office to send out a single CD.


Welkins Boreal links:
Band/Artist location – Helsinki Finland
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